Photo copyright Blair Seitz
A nonpartisan grassroots civics organization

Fight Severance Tax Loopholes and Misallocation

As part of the budget deal, legislators agreed to enact a severance tax on natural gas extracted from Marcellus Shale.  An October 1st deadline is set for the PA Legislature to finalize the details. Negotiations with the industry are underway.   Now is the time to contact legislators-before they return to Harrisburg September 13th - to avoid sweetheart deals and loopholes for the industry and protect the public interest. 

The League supports creation of a severance tax as a revenue source primarily designated for:

  • the preservation and enhancement of natural resources
  • the monitoring and protection of public health
  • an escrow fund supporting community adjustment as the industry grows and declines
  • research on the effects of natural gas extraction on the economy, environment, and public health

Industry lobbyists are asking for unwarranted special exemptions including

  • a capital recovery tax break to recoup drilling costs more quickly
  • the ability to deduct production, processing and transportation costs
  • an exemption for low producing wells
  • a lower tax on a well's production during the first few years, a time of peak output

The industry is also seeking to link "forced pooling" and exemptions from local zoning ordinances with the adoption of a severance tax.  Under forced pooling, landowners would be forced to lease their mineral and property rights merely because a majority of their neighbors have done so.


League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania - 226 Forster Street Harrisburg, PA 17102
Citizen Information Center: 1-800-692-7281 - Phone (717) 234-1576 - Fax: (717) 234-8341
League Information: 800-JOIN-LWV - E-mail: